Srinagar, Mar 10: The delay by the Higher Education Department in finalising the selection process of academic arrangements in degree colleges has taken a toll on the academic progress of students across the Valley.
The prolonged delay in finalising the selection of the academic arrangements for the degree colleges has caused great distress among students who are struggling to keep up with their studies.
Notably, the Higher Education Department (HED) had announced the need for academic arrangements in degree colleges across the Valley to overcome the dearth of the teaching staff in the colleges and provide students with quality education.
However, the process has been delayed due to some official wrangles and other related issues which has ultimately left the students at the receiving end.
"The delay in the finalisation of the process has resulted in chaos and crises in the colleges and students are left with no option but to wait," said Bilqees, a UG student from Baramulla.
"We mostly sit idle in our college due to the uncertainty over hiring of academic arrangements," she said.
Notably, the degree colleges reopened in Mid-February after winter vacations and the class work resumed for the students as well. However, questions have been raised on the concerned authorities in the HED for delaying the selection of academic arrangements.
"It has been more than one month since the colleges reopen after winter vacations but we have been waiting for our academic arrangements to be finalised. We are losing valuable time and it is affecting our academic progress," the students said.
The HED has come under severe criticism for consuming more than two months in finalising the selection of academic arrangements. An official, who wished anonymity, attributed the delay in selection of academic arrangements to the ego issues of the officials at the helm of affairs.
"The department could have utilized winter vacation period to complete the process but the officials and some college principals are delaying the process which is proving costly for the students," an official said.
The official said the college principals would invite guest faculty to deliver lectures on subject specific issues. "But unfortunately, the department does not allow the principals to invite any guest faculty," the official said.
Besides the delay in the selection of academic arrangements, the department has also failed to fill the vacant positions permanently which has left the colleges in academic crises.
Meanwhile, the delay in the selection process of academic arrangements has affected the morale of the existing faculty members who are overburdened with the additional workload due to the unavailability of new staff members.
Meanwhile, the Principal Secretary HED Alok Kumar has convened a meeting with Principals of Government Degree Colleges of Kashmir division to "familiarize with the concerns and issues of GDCs of Kashmir division."
As per the meeting notice, the meeting will be convened at Government College for Women and will be attended by Director Colleges J&K and all the principals of GDCs of Kashmir division.
Amid the academic crises in the colleges, all eyes are on the HED to resolve the issue and ensure that students receive quality education without any further delay.
Nodal Principal Kashmir division colleges, Prof Khurshid Ahmad Khan (Principal SP College) when contacted said the process for deputing academic arrangements to the colleges was in its final stage.
"It will take only a few days to depute the academic arrangements to the colleges. I am not doing it alone but I have around 40 professors who check the credentials (documents) of the candidates so that the selection is done in a transparent manner," he said.
Director Colleges J&K Prof Yasmeen Ashai was not available for her comments on the issue despite repeated attempts.